Copperas Cove anticipates rolling out the next phase of its single-stream recycling program in July after the pilot area showed increases in participation and materials collected.
“We are expecting it to be the first pickup in July,” said Silvia Rhoads, the city’s recycling coordinator. “That is when the next phase of just over 600 homes will be incorporated into the program.”
The first area to receive single-stream recycling in mid-April included residents living off South Farm-to-Market 116 connecting to Phyllis Street. About 620 homes were given the single-stream bins, which are picked up the second and fourth Thursday of the month.
Monique and Tom Martin said they were glad the program came to their neighborhood despite some confusion about when pick ups would occur.
“It is a great help,” Tom Martin said speaking of the ease of throwing the material into the same container. “I am happy about the program.”
Their recycling efforts were sporadic before the single-stream program, Monique Martin said. They tried using the previous city bins, but the smaller containers were a hassle, so they stopped recycling.
Tom Martin said he used to take cardboard to Fort Hood, but now everything fits into one bin at home.
Nichole Hibbitts said her family wasn’t recycling before the single-stream program started.
“I just didn’t care,” Hibbitts said. “But (getting a container) is all it took. Now I make sure that all the right material is in there.”
Placing materials in the bin is really easy because accepted items are listed on the lid, Hibbitts said.
Introducing single-stream recycling to the small area brought about a 15 percent increase in resident participation, according to a report presented to the Copperas Cove City Council last week.
The weight of materials collected almost doubled as well.
On May 23, the city collected recyclables at 211 homes with an average weight of 25 pounds per household, stated the report. A total of 4,600 pounds was collected.
“When you look at the number of pounds per household, that has increased dramatically,” Rhoads said.
About the same number of homes not in the single-stream pilot area collected about 3,040 pounds of material, according to the report.
“To date, the total weight collected in the single-stream recycling pilot area was 13,520 pounds (6.76 tons) resulting in a diversion rate of $251.81,” stated the report.
While that doesn’t seem like much, the savings will be even more when the program is phased in citywide, Rhoads said.
“When you talk about the (city’s) 12,000 homes, that is going to be huge,” she said.
While some residents in the recycling pilot program area didn’t want to talk about the new program because they were frustrated, Hibbitts said it has been a blessing.
It has reduced the amount of trash she throws away, she said.
“The last couple of weeks we haven’t been putting out our second (trash can),” Hibbitts said. “It has a little bit on the bottom every now and again.”
The Martins said they have reduced their trash, too, but wish the city would take even more recyclables, such as plastic bags and glass containers.